I've got quite a mix of links for you this weekend, but the unifying theme is living ethically in these times.
First, an old article from Salon about traveling ethically. I love to travel, and I do think about how to travel ethically. This article doesn't really provide the answers for how to do it, but I think it does a decent job of raising some of the right questions, and it has links to some good resources.
Today Salon had another article about ethics- this time about buying clothes ethically. Bad Mom, Good Mom writes about this topic quite a bit, and this week she had posts about taking the wardrobe refashion pledge and the Me Made May challenge, and the impacts of those two things on her choices and behavior.
I know how to sew- I learned as a kid, and sewed into early high school. I do not currently have the time or the inclination to make my own clothes, though. It is not an activity I find relaxing. For one thing, I suck at cutting straight and that always stressed me out as a seamstress. I do, however, greatly prefer to buy fewer clothes of high quality versus a lot of low quality clothes. I'm not really into disposable fashion trends. I like high quality clothes in classic styles that flatter my body type. The trick is finding them. I've been pleased with the quality of what I get from Stitch Fix, but as much as I enjoy the serendipitous aspect of it, I do not want the number of clothes it would take to build a reasonable wardrobe solely by that approach. I suspect that I'll get at most a few fixes a year, and use them to push me out of my fashion ruts and add some variety to my otherwise pretty boring wardrobe.
I'm still planning to try out a personal shopper later this year, when my pants size has stabilized. But I'm also tempted by another online service I came across- custom shirts. Most of the online options are geared for men, but I found one called Joe Button that has a nice selection of women's button up shirts. I'm tempted because I like the way a well-fitting button up shirt looks- but I can almost never find one. I am a 38F. A structured shirt that fits my chest is usually tent-like and unflattering, so I end up with nothing but t-shirts. Luckily, I work in a casual industry, but I'd like a few dressier options. Joe Button's website says that I can customize based on my measurements, which is a tempting idea. They use tailors based in Hong Kong. Before I use a service like Joe Button, I'd like to do some research to see if their conditions are as good as they imply. If I decide to give Joe Button a try, I'll let you all know how it turns out.
I have ordered clothing from far away before- I bought a pair of Sole Rebels from Ethiopa last year, and I love them (I think these are the ones I have). I don't have a problem with clothing made in other countries, as long as
the working conditions and pay are acceptable (see the Salon article
for more info about that). However, I'm also interested in finding some good local designers to support, assuming I can find someone here in San Diego who makes things appropriate for a 40 year old professional, and not just for 20-something beach goers. I guess I could always extend my search up to LA or even San Francisco, too. I thought that maybe I had a lead from my Stitch Fix boxes. Of the the 6 pieces of clothing I've kept, two were from a brand called 41 Hawthorn, and both of those were made in the USA. Google tells me that it is Stitch Fix's in house brand, though.
Anyway, enough about clothes. My next link is a blog post about work-life balance and being a good team leader from Jon Gallant, a dev manager at Microsoft. Anandi (who blogs at House of Peanut) sent it to me saying it was the best article on the topic she'd ever read, and I agree with her- it is a great article. For me, caring about work-life fit is part of my ethics not just as a parent and a worker, but also as a manager. A lot of people I come across, look down
their noses at management and business in general, but most people work
for businesses, and the quality of the management has a huge impact on
those people's quality of life. Therefore, I think that one of the most important things I need to do to be ethical at work is to be a good manager. I take the role seriously, particularly with regards to ensuring my team can have good work-life fit and that they get the career development opportunities they want. Reading posts like this one make me feel that I'm not alone in that.
My next link is an article from a guy who unplugged from the internet for a year, because he thought that maybe the internet was the source of some of his problems. It turned out that his problems came from inside himself, not the internet. It is a good read. I found it via Scalzi's post on it.
The internet does make it easier for people to be haters, though. I've written before about how I'd rather be a maker than a hater, and Wil Wheaton had a great post on that topic.
And finally, here are some everyday acts of kindness, captured courtesy of those Russian dashboard cameras that are famous for capturing accidents real and fake. It is nice to see the good things that they capture for once.
Happy weekend, everyone!